January 12 to February 12, 2015Dear Emmeline,
While browsing for party ideas for your sister's 4th (wtf) birthday, I laughed at one mother's description of the party she planned for her one-year-old: "I wanted it to be sophisticated and girly, just like my daughter." I must not be traveling in the right circles, because although you're adorable and funny and oh-so-amazing, sophisticated you are not. I may need to enroll you in finishing school.
You've also entered the no-fear, crazy-toddler phase. I thought I'd escaped the crazy daredevil gene with you, but it's emerged with a vengeance. Your favorite thing to do currently is to launch yourself over the armrest of the couch down to the kid's stuffed chair that sits next to it. And you're always climbing me. Even when I'm holding you, you're trying to climb up my body so that you're basically standing on my shoulder - you want to get higher, higher, higher. Your dad put you on top of the refrigerator yesterday and you thought that should pretty much be your new perch always. I can't pass the fridge now without you reaching out towards it, begging me to put you up there.
Although you still aren't talking yet (or weren't as of the 12th of February, though it maybe possibly has changed as of the time I'm publishing this?), your skills and abilities are developing at incredible speed. I watch you maneuver a small item into place with one hand, or place a shape into a shape sorter on the first try, or ease a puzzle piece into place and I'm like, "WTF. When did you learn to do that?"
(This is when you reached yogurt on the way home from the grocery store and ripped it open with your teeth)
And you're definitely babbling more and more and I have a feeling a barrage of words is just around the corner (but maybe not - Carys certainly does enough talking for you that you might never need to speak). You say "mamamamamama" incessantly when you want me to pick you up and when you want milk, so you might be saying it to me? But I'm not ready to call it officially yet. I feel like I've been saying that for months. You definitely have a specific "ca" sound for Carys, but it's still a babble.
Your non-verbal communication, however, is stellar. You can point and grunt and squeal and make these incredible vocalizations to get your point across. And like complex thoughts, too. Not just caveman "me want" type thoughts. But things like, "I'd like you to put the paci back in this doll and then hand her back to me and then pick both of us up and put me in my highchair so I can play with her on the tray. NOW." And we often laugh (and inwardly cringe and wish for earplugs) at some of the sounds you make - our little pterodactyl, doing a high-pitched squeal-screech to make sure you get noticed. I'm assuming that's a second child thing.
While you do turn on the dramatics quite often - I saw what happened, kid, and it was just the softest bonk, no need for the waterworks - you are usually just so happy and content and your smile is the biggest and the best. And your huuuuuuggggggggs. They are the best. You totally and completely melt into the person you are hugging. Usually the object of this affection is your sister, but every once in a while you'll go all hug-crazy on me or your dad and we can't get enough (unlike your sister, who tolerates it for about two seconds, then squirms to get out of your grasp). You give these giant open-mouth kisses, too, and seriously, Em, you're just the sweetest. You melt me into a ball of goop.
You tend to be pretty shy and clingy around strangers, but for those of us that are lucky enough to know you, your smile just lights up our world. You still have the absolute best, cheesiest smile I've ever seen. I think I've probably mentioned your smile every letter but did I mention it's the best? And your dimples have stuck around (yay mom genes!). And your hair has the sweetest curls (and it's growing into a really lovely mullet). Your little cheeks have been red pretty much all winter (I'm sorry you live in Nebraska) but really the redness just emphasizes the roundess. And makes your cheeks completely irresistible.
You are still ALLLLLL about your sister, and ALLLLLLLL about her stuff, be it the food that she's eating or the toy that she's playing with - you want it. And you want to cuddle her. But only on your terms. God forbid she should try to give you an unwanted hug. Your favorite times are when the two of you are doing something together - a favorite is jumping in your crib. She climbs in with you and the two of you go to town and you just laugh and laugh and laugh.
You still don't sleep. I don't know what to do about that. I've pretty much given up. I expect to be getting up with you when you're in high school. You take awesome naps usually - sometimes 2+ hours two times a day - but at night, you just don't want to sleep longer than 3 hours at a time. (I've tried limiting your naps, but that just made your nighttime sleep worse - in this family, sleep begets sleep!).
You love babies - you have a baby friend at swim class and all you want to do is cuddle him all day long. Luckily he puts up with your affections. You have started to carry around a baby doll and are starting to take care of it - laying it down, covering it with a blanket, sometimes even rocking it. You also are into puzzles - though you can't quite get the pieces in, you love taking them out and trying to put them back together. And, much like your sister, you LOVE books. You would happily sit and listen to a dozen books at a time.
Your favorite foods are pasta with spaghetti sauce and mac and cheese and peas and yogurt. You've started to use a spoon to feed yourself, and you can drink out of a real cup (though I have to take it from you between drinks or you'll dump it out).
I just enjoy you so much (between the hours of 7am and 8pm). You're the cutest, happiest, silliest kid. I love you more than anything.